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And The Winner Is...

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It's finally here...Part Two of the Finale of Project Runway! As we learned at the end of last week's episode, all four remaining designers will get to compete at Fashion Week. Melissa and Dmitri are pleasantly shocked by this, whereas a joyful and prescient Fabio shares that he predicted it all along. As for Christopher, he is bitter, bitchy and whiny, complaining that he's been the front runner all along but is now being made to feel like he's lucky they kept him. We immediately wonder, "Is this nasty edit the producers' way of justifying their Golden Boy losing, or is the designer just exhausted and confused?" Either way, we learn that Christopher is significantly more palatable when he's praised than when he's criticized.

By this point, the designers are all exhausted, Dmitri thinks they look like a bunch of vampires. We'd say three vampires and a Snape. Because of the extremely critical feedback all the designers were given last week, they each get money to spend at Mood to fix their collections. Melissa decides to add a pop of color to hers, by making a bright red leather dress. She repeatedly calls the shade "Blood Orange." This causes Christopher to snottily whine, "She's so pretentious. Shut up, it's f**ing red!" Christopher's image isn't as quickly or badly tarnished as OJ's was when he drove the white Bronco, but it's a pretty rapid drop.


Would you describe this as "Blood Orange" or "F**king Red"?
At Mood, Dmitri buys black fabric for a blouse, Fabio purchases materials which he thinks will makes his collections seem more luxe and Christopher stresses out and spins like a top. He doesn't know what fabrics to buy or what he wants to make. The designers all shop in a panic, while Swatch, Mood's canine mascot, lies on the floor looking very Zen. It's as if Swatch is saying to the designers, "Don't stress, it really doesn't matter who wins, Christian Siriano is the only designer to ever see major success from this show." (It seems that Swatch thinks much like we do).

Christopher ignores Swatch's silent wisdom and Tim Gunn's more vocal calming words. He continues to spin out of control back at the workroom. Although he already has plenty of great pieces in his collection, Christopher keeps making more and more, much like the princess who wouldn't stop knitting in Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans. Tim gets so frustrated by his behavior, that he snaps at Christopher in a tone we've never heard him use in the history of the show.

Melissa also fails to manage her time well, but for Melissa, that's par for the course. If anything, she's more speedy than usual. Fabio, like Swatch, continues to be very Zen. After he and Dmitri finish their work early, they then roast a turkey, run a marathon and build a Habitat For Humanity house with their extra time.

Soon all four designers are off to the runway—and not just any runway, but the one in the biggest Fashion Week tent at Lincoln Center. Yes, the designers will show on the same runway that DVF and Michael Kors both show their collections on. Their audience is also impressive. It includes Deborah Messing, many of the upcoming Project Runway All Stars and plenty of this season's designers—like Nathan Paul, who is featured this week in a very special Buyer's Remorse column.


The Judges
Joining Michael, Nina and Heidi in the guest judging chair, is Jennifer Hudson, looking fabulous in a green pantsuit. Although Jennifer doesn't give much commentary on specific pieces, we enjoy her as a judge because she tries to get a read on who the designers are and where they are in their career. At one point Jennifer suggests that Dmitri is so talented, that he will do well in his career whether he wins Project Runway or not. Could this be a pointed dig at American Idol—the show which this Oscar and Grammy winning artist only placed fourth on?

And then it's time for the collections. Much to our shock and delight, ALL the designers successfully address the judges' critiques from last episode. We went from not loving any of the collections, and actually loathing some, to thinking that all four designers put on impressive runway shows. It just goes to show that sometimes switching a few pieces and editing a collection's styling can make a huge difference. We like all the final collections and so do the judges. But there can only be one winner...


You can't even tell Christopher chopped off the bottom of this gown
In fourth place is Christopher. The judges love that he created an original print and made some great separates, but don't feel that his designs pulled together enough to make a cohesive collection. They also complain that they wish his clothes were "more romantic," yet find particular fault with his beautiful closing gown, which they don't think fits in with the rest of the collection. The judges don't seem to notice that Christopher had to rip off the bottom of this gown, because his model's shoes got stuck in it. Not that this really matters, since he comes in last anyway. After an episode overflowing with his bitchiness, Christopher manages to pull it together and make a graceful exit. Aside from when he asks for a recount.


Melissa comes in Third
In third place is Melissa. Her collection is very Melissa, with lots of her trademark towering necklines. The judges like most of it, especially her new red dress, but find fault with a white gown with a skirt so narrow, that the model can hardly walk in it. Overall, the judges think that Melissa knows how to make clothing women will like, but they're not sure she has any truly original visions or that she'll grow as a designer. Melissa is disappointed when she doesn't win, but seems energized by her experience on the show.

And now it's down to the final two. Who'd have thought last week that Fabio would be able to improve his collection this much? Certainly not us, we initially hated it, but now think it looks great. And who'd have thought earlier this season, that after weeks of the judges almost never giving Dmitri wins, that he'd make it this far? (Okay, that one we called...)


Fabio comes in Second
In second place is...Fabio. The judges love that he is the only designer who worked predominantly with colors. Yes, amazingly, even though he designs edgy styles, he creates them in Jordan Almond hues. The judges are very impressed with his collection, but seem to think he needs more seasoning as a designer. Fabio is sad that he isn't the winner, because he wanted to pay off all of his and his mother's bills. But he's thrilled that he made it this far, explaining that he thought he'd be out the first week.

After a season of not being impressed by Fabio, he finally moves us, both with his upbeat attitude and his newly modified collection. We tip our proverbial hat to you, Fabio!


Congratulations to Dmitri, the Winner of Season Ten!
Which means that this season's winner is the man who came to America with just, "One backpack, a couple of hundred dollars and a huge dream." Yes, Dmitri! His collection still has a smidgen of that Eighties over-styled look that is popular with the better dressed Russian women of Brighton Beach. But overall, everything now skews much younger than it did last week, thanks to the designer switching the pairing of his pieces and going for edgier hair and make-up.

The judges love Dmitri's work and seem to feel that he is professionally ready to move on to the next level of his career. After his victory is announced, Tim Gunn comes out to give his congratulations, but then starts crying, which makes Dmitri start crying, which makes us start crying. After a season of loving his designs and tailoring, and being even more smitten by his charm and humor, we're very happy to see Dmitri win.

Jennifer warns the victorious Dmitri, "Remember it's not always about how good you are, it's about how good you are to work with." Relax Jennifer, with Dmitri, we don't think this will be an issue.


One of the judges' favorites from Dmitri's collection


Another judges' favorite


Dmitri with his full collection

So ends the Tenth Season of Project Runway. To view more of the final collections, check out Lifetime's Rate the Runway.

And don't forget to join us next week when we review episode one of the second season of Project Runway All Stars. Lots of villains from past seasons will be returning. Will any of them have matured? We're guessing not. See you then!
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